Who IS this guy?!

'Niceguy' Eddie

Political Talk Show Host and Internet Radio Personality. My show, In My Humble Opinion, aired on RainbowRadio from 2015-2017.

Feel free to contact me at niceguy9418@usa.com. You can also friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and Tumblr, and support my Patreon. Also, if you don't mind the stench, you can find my unofficial "fan club" over HERE. ;)


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is that really Dick Cheney?

Interesting headline and photo on MMFA today:

Is THAT really Dick Cheney?


When the hell did he start looking like Max Von Sydow?!

If he wasn't such a scumbag, whose plane ticket to The Hague I'd glady spring for out of pocket, I'd almost be concerned about him!


OTOH, since it is Dick Cheney we're talking about, all i can say is that I hope it's inoperable, and "fuck 'im."

Gold Star Awards. August, 2011

MADE IT! lol

This was a weird month. I started it with only a handful of reserve sites left for the HoF - nothing I was really excited about, just some sites I keep in my back pocket in case I run out of ideas.  Well... I ran out of ideas!  Then about six or seven different sites, blogs, web comics, etc... All came to my attention at once and I'm set with enough Golds and Silvers to carry me though the end of the year!  The only question was who to put into which month. LOL.  That's of particular importance this month, since the year is 1966 and the lone inductee is...

The Ted Williams GOLD STAR #38: Potholer54

I don't know how I managed to have missed this channel for so long.  I got linked to it recently via a comment on MMFA, and the minute I started watching I was HOOKED.  Complex Science about Climate Change, the Creation of the Earth and the Universe, the beginning of life on this planet, Human Evolution, and other things, all boiled down to perfectly digestible short documentaries that even the most brain-dead Right Winger can understand.  And beyond the fact that they are FASCINATING in and of themselves, they represent a solid argument that no Right-Wing True-Believer can deny or debunk, especially since he often specifically addresses the very talking points and urban myths that those on the Right try to use to discredit the Science they can't accept.  Very well done, and a FANTASTIC resource for arguing with Conservatives.  I HIGHLY recommend subscribing.

Also... I want to thank everyone who's read and commented on Utopia.  If you haven't checked it out yet, please take a look. I'd love to hear what you have to say, even if it's only to tell me that it's an incoherent mess! But please feel free to leave comments there, here or email me at niceguy9418@usa.com. (That goes for anything, anytime, BTW, not just that!)  I'm not always on top of every comment and email, but I do try to reply as soon and as often as possible.  And thanks again to ALL of you, for all of your participation in this conversation over the past two years. (It will be two years, officially, in just one more week - 9/7/11.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Worst. Movie. Ever.

OK, not really but it was pretty bad.

I love a good Samurai movie. Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, Hidden Fortress, Rashomon, Yojimbo, Sanjuro, Throne of Blood and Kobayashi's Samurai Rebellion and Hara Kiri are all among my favorite movies of all time. (I wasn't as high on Kwaidan, but it's still really good.) And I hold Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura and Tatsuya Nakadai in as high esteem as I do any western actors. The classic samurai flics are truly great works of art, and it's a shame that so many Westerners miss out on them.

So when I read about Kihachi Okamoto's Sword of Doom, staring both Mifune and Nakadai, on Netflix, there was no way I wasn't going to check it out.


Now... don't get me wrong: There's a lot of good stuff going on for the first 95% of the movie. The script is fine, the character's are interesting, the acting's top notch and the cinematography is great. It's the final scene and the "ending" (notice the quotes?) that turned it all into a collosal waste of time.

The plot (very, very short version): Nakadai plays a sociopathic samurai who's killed every man he's ever fought. He kills a rival in what supposed to be merely a match, but which turned into a duel. He then takes the man's wife, first in a rape scene which pans to the side and uses the most balant (bordering on the absurdly obnoxious) symbolism for sex (forced or otherwise) that I've ever seen, and then as his own wife. Fast forward, he goes on to do a lot of bad stuff (includeing eventually killing this same woman, and abandoning their child) and we are treated to scenes of his old rival's younger brother training under an Iaido Sensei, played by Mifune. (And it's implied, more than once, that we'll be treated to a climactic showdown between the two.)

But instead, the evil Samurai's gang checks into a hotel, has a bit of a party after which Nakadai's character goes crazy and starts killing them. When's he's about 3/4 of the way done (I lost count, the scene drags on for liek seems like forever, but he kills like 30-some guys) there are a few more left, he's mostly dead (cut several times, bleeding, staggering) and he looks into the camera, looking all angry and crazy... AND THEN IT ENDS!

What the fuck?!

Does he kill them? Do they finally take him down? WHO FUCKING KNOWS?!

But more to the point, what the fuck was with the training montage scenes with rival's brother and Mifune? There is absolutely no reason to even HAVE them, OR Mifune's charecter AT ALL, if instead of a showdown, he's just going to go crazy and kill HIS OWN MEN, and then on top of that the movie ends before he even finishes the job, or gets killed himself!!!

Think about Rocky IV, for a moment... terrible movie, I know, but bear with me. How much worse would it have been if, just before the fight between Balboa and Drago, the Russian boxer goes crazy in his training camp, kills his trainers, kills half of the cops and military folks that come in to get him, and just as some more come in, and he's straining to escape his restraints... THE MOVIE JUST ENDS?!

(Now that I think about it, that might have actually made Rocky IV a BETTER movie! LMAO! But you would still be left wondering what was up with all the training montages if the two were never going to fight!)

So Sword of Doom SUCKS.

Watch ANYTHING by Kurosawa or Kobayashi before seeing this piece of crap.

(cue ClassicLiberal to come in and tell me why I'm wrong. LOL)

Gotta love that free-market health care!

I'm not going to go into the details of why for-profit, free-market health DOES. NOT. WORK.

(And is just ill concieved and improperly motivated, right for the start.)  We all know these already.

But here's another recent example of the failure of market forces to provide adequate health care.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

I Don't Believe in Miracles

Nobel Laureate and one of a very few people who “get it” (or tell the truth) anymore, Paul Krugman, wrote an excellent piece the other day in the NYT debunking the myth of the “Texas Miracle” that has supposedly happened under Governor Rick / General Robert E. Perry. It’s great piece and although it doesn’t go far enough (to use one of his own famous critiques) I recommend that everyone read it, just I as Recommend reading pretty much ANYTHNG this man writes. (Barry? Are you listening?)

And last night the Gym some ass-hat two machines down from me not only had Fox News On, but had it turned UP. (Usually the TV's are muted and just show subtitles.) So I got to listen to a marvelously fact-free response from the four members of the Fox Panel who HAVE NOT won Nobel Prizes in Economics. Devoid of rational response, or evidence to support their so called “miracle,” they report to calling [Krugman's analysis] the “Alien Invasion” theory suggesting either that Krugman credits illegal immigration ALONE for ALL of Texas’ growth, or that he was suggesting that little green men, perhaps from Mars, were somehow to thank. And of course, the average Fox viewer is more likely to hear that explanation and think, “Wow, that Krugman sure is a nut!” rather than, “Wow, these Fox peoples sure are stupid!” Because remember:



(As an aside, between how pissed off I was getting listening to Fox and the Trainer playing the Greatest Hits of the Rocky movies with one his clients, I did have a really good workout!)

(Another aside - I couldn't find a transcript of the Fox segment, but while looking for one, I found almost the next best thing: This Idiot's Blog.  Check it out, although preferably not right after you've eaten! We got a future Hall of Shamer here, for sure. I'm curious to see if he has the balls to let my comments post(he did! good on him!), and the chops to respond to them. Or come here! If he does, who knows? It might get interesting.)

Well, anyway, I’m all for debunking “Miracles” as anyone who understands my Humanist and Skeptical Philosophy already knows. And I heard an EXCELLENT story on NPR this morning that started where Krugman left off and ran with it, showing even more reasons why the “Texas Miracle” is unlikely to apply to the broader economy. You can find a transcript and audio HERE, but here are some of the highlights:

1) Population Growth: Texas has had an influx of immigrants, both legal and illegal, yes, but also many people moving there from other States. And, as Mister Krugman pointed out, it’s not like EVERY STATE’S population can grow based on people moving there from OTHER STATES. So, either it IS (or will have to be) an actual “Alien Invasion,” as Fox sarcastically put it, or it won’t work. Nice work there, Fox.

2) Public Sector growth has been every bit as robust as Private Sector growth. Liberals would be neither surprised nor bothered by this, but remember: He’s promising small Government. Apparently what’s been good for Texas will NOT in fact be good for the rest of the Country – at least according to him and his Tea-Backers.

3) The overwhelming majority of the private sector jobs have paid minimum-wage or less. Governor Perry, please, despite what your Tea-Backer and Supply-Side buddies will tell you, we don’t just want jobs. We want GOOD PAYING JOBS. Filling the economy with part-time, minimum wage jobs (or worse) is NOT what we’re looking for!

4) Despite all that Public Sector Growth – that the Right isn’t even prescribing? Texas ranks 49th in per pupil public school spending, and 50th – tied with Mississ-fucking-ssippi (or as my father-in-law calls it: The states that keep West Virginia from being LAST in anything) in the percentage of adults that go without health insurance.

5) Texas residence still go without many of the services that residents of every other state enjoy. Remember folks, because this is his recipe for success: Sub-Minimum Wage Jobs, and no Public Services. THAT’s the Texas “Miracle.”

6) Perry's “Enterprise Fund,” which gives taxpayer money to companies to come to, or expand in, Texas. *ugh* OK, putting aside that this is little more than Rick Perry giving tax-payer money to the company’s that back his campaign (alone enough to warrant his removal from office) this might sound a bit familiar. In one of the rare instance in which I agree with the tea-baggers, another word for this is… duh-dah-daaaaaah: STIMULUS. (You know: That thing they want to GET RID OF so we can have MORE JOBS?) (Idiots.) And in one of those rare instances that I agree with Rick Perry, depending on how this is administered this can be a good thing. Of course, I’d prefer public works projects to strait corporate giveaways, but, in a rare instance where Paul Krugman and Rick Perry would agree, the economic effect is largely the same: IT CREATES JOBS. But, of course, this will likely be off the table when it comes to the rest of the country.  The Tea Party Republican Retards have no intention of spending any money to fix anything. (At least, not while Obama's in office.)

And finally, the one that PISSES ME OFF THE MOST…

7) What kind of companies thrive in Texas? What are the biggest employers there, the ones driving most of that jobs growth? Well… Enron, ExxonMobil, Halliburton, Marathon Oil, Shell Oil, Texaco… You see the pattern yet? Mostly Oil Companies and other Energy Companies. And those guys have been doing great while the rest of the country’s economy remains in the shitter. Why? BOWEL-BASHINGLY HIGH GAS PRICES, THAT’S HOW!!!! These companies have made it their business model to siphon off as much of the rest of country's growth as possible! Well… OK… I’ll say potential growth, because with these greedy little fuckwads operating the way they do, they rest of the country will basically NEVER GROW AGAIN. Does that sound alarmist? Think about it. Since ~2005 or thereabouts (I've noticed it pretty clearly since the days after Hurricane Katrina) the pattern has gone in lockstep perfection:

1: Gas prices go up =>the economy slows.

2: Slow economy => no jobs => less demand => gas prices drop.

3: Low gas prices mean people have more money, as they are no longer being strangled by the oil companies. (Thank you, Mister Keyenes!)

4: More money => more demand => economy starts to improve.

5: Economy improves, demand goes up => GAS PRICES GO UP.

6: GOTO 1

And it doesn’t make a difference whether the oil is foreign or not. (Shell is a Dutch company. They still employ a lot of Texan-Americans.) The problem is that oil and gas (energy) prices will ALWAYS act as drag on the economy. They will ALWAYS be a negatively correlated indicator. Until we break their stranglehold we will not be able to escape this pattern. It’s like a tax on the rest of the economy, but one who’s rate actually goes up to the point that it kills growth as soon as there IS any. And nowhere has this kick-in-the-balls been more evident than in my home state of Michigan. High gas prices killed the SUV. That’s great for the environment, don’t get me wrong. It needed to happen, and it was inevitable that big-Auto would need to transition off of them. But the gas prices have gone back down since then! They slowed the economy and were really what kicked off the mortgage crisis. (Not the kindling, of course, just the spark.) And the two brought the Big Three automakers to the brink of bankruptcy. And we haven’t had a robust recovery – because the Republicans and big oil won’t LTE US!

Nice going.

Oh yeah… and as for the whole Low-Tax, low Regulation business environment?

8) Texas job growth has not kept pace with its population growth: They have higher unemployment that the high-tax, highly regulated, robust public service providing states of New York and Massachusetts. (You remember Massachusetts, right? The state with near-universal health care coverage, compared to Texas’ rank of dead last?)

So THAT’S his recipe folks:

• Shitty, Low paying jobs

• No public services

• Little to no health insurance

• Underfunded schools

High gas prices

You know what? If THAT shit works? I just might start believing in “miracles!”

Monday, August 15, 2011

Check it out...

So... I hear that despite the voice of the people in Iowa, the Ayatollah Bin Bachmann is apparently not a factor in the Race for the GOP Nomination. It looks like it's Perry vs. Romney.  Actually, it's not surprising that the GOP would't blatantloy discout the will of the people, nor that they would marginalize one of there, given that she is of the fairer sex.

Anyway there was an interesting picture of Rick and Mitt there next to link on homepage that went to the article and it got me thinking...  I don't think The Separatist from Texas is any more electable than Loony Bin Bachman.  He might seem that way to the Right, given that Bachmann's an idiot and all. (Where do the Right find these bimbos, anyway? Palin, O'Donnell, Bachmann... I swear if my entire sample size of women came for those on the Right, I probably think all women were pretty fucking stupid as well!) But anyway... HERE's why I don't think General Robert E. Perry can win:

(And you're welcome to copy the picture but it's MINE, so make sure to let 'em know where you found it!)

OK, so the last one isn't really relevant. (Well, it is to OBAMA, but not to Perry.)  Anyway, strang how easy it was to connect one ignorant Texes shitheel to another. Thought I'd share.



NOTE (added later, ~11:PM): So I'm checking back in and the ad-bot is showing ads for Rick Perry. *head-slap*

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A GREAT Article

THIS is a GREAT article. 

And the best part of it is the last part, so if you don't want to read the whole thing, skip to page 2 and scoll down to:

"How Will I Know When I've Become an Adult?"

It's a great question, and I think I agree with him 100%, both in theory and from looking at my own life when he boils it down to:

You know you're an adult, not just when you're able to put the needs of others above your own, but when you're able to do it without giving a single thought to what they "owe" you in return. You realize that, at some point you weren't even aware of, you became the tap instead of the bucket. And then you look back and hate your younger self for living under the delusion that somehow a world full of buckets could function.

And it is with that firmly in mind that I would like to tell all Republicans to GROW THE FUCK UP!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Do the Right’s Thing

A couple posts ago, I mentioned how I felt that the best parallel to what President Obama has done in the past two years with regards to his negotiations on economic policy, health care and other issues was Henry Clay, brokering compromises with the Slave States to preserve the Nation at the expense of preserving a great evil. And, of course, as history went on to show, this is impossible. It’s a contradiction. And the ability to compromise is only to your credit if your opposite’s position has some merit and both sides give something up and both sides gain something. I suppose it could be argued that Clay’s compromises failed only the first test, but it beyond any doubt that Obama’s have failed both. And this is evidence of a larger trend that goes way beyond merely Obama, as I would include both Clintons, Reid, Bauchus, Nelson and possibly quite a few other Democrats, and the Party as a whole, in the following statements:

As the Republicans have moved farther and farther to the RIGHT, the Democrats hacve responded by moving to the Right.

And this is a dangerous phenomenon, for than just the obvious reasons of… well… the fact that the Right is inherently dangerous. It is worth remembering that before the Civil Rights movement, it was the Democrats who dominated the Southeast and were the Social Conservatives, while the Republicans dominated the Northeast and were the fiscal Conservatives. (For what it’s worth the Mid-West has always been a battle ground, the Mountains have always been Republican, and the West Coast was also mostly Republican, at least at the Presidential level, up until the early 1990’s.) Anyway, the great switch happened after the Civil Rights Act: Noreasters became Democrats, while Rednecks started voting Republican. And while there was a great shift in Party affililation, each party still had its Conservative and Liberal wings. And thus there remained some Democrats that were to the Right of some Republicans (the last of the Dixiecrats and the last of the Yankee Republicans, for example) and vice-versa. So while the Civil Rights Act changed the geographic political landscape, I do not necessarily mark it as the moment when our currently toxic political environment began to form. It gave the Right an opportunity, but it would be another decade and a half before someone would finally seize on it:


It was Ronald W. Reagan that cobbled together the Republican Coalition that lives on to this day of Libertarians, Funny-Mentalists and Chicken-Hawks – three groups that basically had mutually exclusive agendas, at leats before the first two sold out. (Also, I read somewhere recently where someone pointed out that Libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pots and have sex. I KNEW there was a reason I could tolerate the Libertarians! LOL). And it was Regan who stamped out all the intra-Party bickering and forged the iron-clad lock-step Republican unity that live on to this day. “Do not speak badly of your fellow Republican” was his mantra, and his victory in 1980, followed by the 2nd biggest landslide in history in 1984 showed them the wisdom of this.

The Republicans moved to the Right, and the Democrats figured it might be a good idea to follow suit.

Now, the one thing about the politics of ideologues, about those who hold their ideology as sacred, is that there is a constant need to differentiate oneself for the opposition. To the one who is the farthest to the Right, in this case, goes the prize. So as the Democrats moved to the Right, the Republicans had to respond by moving even farther to the Right!

See how that works?

The Republicans PULL the Democrats to the Right, and each time this happens the Democrats then PUSH the Republicans farter to the right! Where does it end? Well, in complete and utter insanity for one thing. Only it doesn’t END there: It perpetuates there. And this was on full display listening to the latest brand of Corporate Nationalists on dis play last night in Iowa.

For example, Michelle Bachman saying she stuck to her “principles” and opposed raising the debt ceiling. Apparently her “principles” include not paying her bills. Maybe I should stop paying my mortgage out of “principle,” what do you think? And here she is, saying she’s opposed to the fact that President (1) caved to Republicans on (2) an issue entirely create whole-cloth out of nothing, in order that (3) our country to do something as basic as fulfill its existing obligations to its creditors and the public.

She’s OPPOSED to that.

Well… so am I, I guess! I mean… Obama never should have let the Republicans make an issue out of this in the first place. But somehow I doubt that my objections and those of the Crazy Congresswoman from Minnesota have anything in common.

She went on to criticize Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (not very Reaganesque of you, Michelle!) for endorsing “Cap-and-Trade,” another Republican idea that was invented to oppose the once Liberal policy of “Cap,” and then again for endorsing the individual mandate in “Obama-care.”

Pawlenty for his part deflected, calling it “Obomney-care” and saying he opposed it and then turned to the former Massachusetts Sellout, Mitt Romney.

Romney then insisted that there were “significant differences” between what they did in Massachusetts and what Obama did.

Yeah: For one thing? “Obama-care” includes things that eliminate some of the worst abuses of the insurance industry – denial of coverage, preexisting conditions, dropping people, etc… So the most glaring difference between the two? Are the things that most people actually LIKE about “Obama-care.” Another difference? In Massachusetts there were subsidies lined up to assist people who couldn’t afford it. In “Obama-care” we’re apparently going to use “markets.”

See what they did there? Obama moved to the Right, and the Right had to respond by moving farther to the Right!

How far to the Right does Obama really want to push these people anyway?

And how much farther are the Democrats willing to be pulled?

A few facts to consider:

1) Congress historically gets a below 50% approval rating from the public. And this has only been trending worse and worse and worse over the past few decades.

2) While Americans generally self-identify as “Conservative,” issue polls have shown that the bulk of Americans, typically over 60% favor the position which is represented by the Liberals.

Now… Do you suppose that maybe, just maybe, people’s general dissatisfaction with Congress have anything to do with a growing feeling, as both parties move to the Right of the General Public that they don’t feel like they have adequate representation? Or ANY? That their Candidate or their Representative doesn’t fight for polices that will actually help them? Or benefit them?

Well gee…

I would say that, in a country that wants the Liberal Position 60% of the time, and the “new-Liberalism,” according to this mythical “Liberal Media” that I keep hearing about, includes:

1) Taking Republican ideas on Health Care

2) Taking Republican ideas on Taxes

3) Taking Republican ideas on Entitlements

4) Taking Republican ideas on Environmental Protection

5) Taking Republican ideas on Foreign Policy

And the “new Conservative” involves rejecting these ideas as being “too liberal” and finding a new position even farther to the Right?

Well… It’s no surprise to me that people don’t feel well represented. It’s no surprise to me that Congress gets increasing negative approval ratings as they keep drifting to the Right. We’ve gotten to the point that their absurdly chosen poster child for Liberalism is actually to the Right of most of America! And it’s no surprise to me that there is no end in sight. But moving farther to the Right is not, can not be and has never been the answer to the problem. That we have BOTH parties moving farther and farther to the Right IS the problem!

And maybe it’s coming time for us to have a Tea-Party of our own.

Maybe tell the Right that they’ve Taken Enough Already!

(*sigh* If only the media would report something that generally resembled reality)

I’ll end with one more example of this, from the Iowa Debate…

Mitt Romney said that “he wouldn’t eat the dog food Obama was serving,” in reference to the “debate” about the debt ceiling and the “deal” that was finally worked out. See what he did there? I mean, just as with Loony Bin Bachman, I AGREE that it was ‘dog food.’ BUT, it’s only because Obama never should have given the Republicans the time of day on it! If caving into Republican demands and letting them frame the issue and dominate the debate and giving them everything they want in exchange for what amounts to routine housekeeping is the “new liberal?” Where does that leave the Republicans to go?

Note to Obama: The Right will always seek to distinguish itself from the Left. And, accurately or not, the Democrats will continue to be labeled as the Left. So you will not get the Republicans to stop running to the Right by chasing them there! You are embracing their insanity and only making them more crazy! If you want to “bridge the partisan divide” try using a ROPE, like in a tug-of-war, and try PULLING ON IT for a change! Right now? You’re chasing a moving target who, right or wrong, for whatever reason, doesn’t want to be anywhere near you! And the closer you get, the faster they run! You can’t go on trying to be just like someone who will only, ever seek to differentiate themselves from you! You will never achieve that, nor will you ever get them to stop! So stop chasing them! Stop PUSHING them farther to the Right! The Republicans have only, EVER shown a desire to Negotiate with Democrats when the Democrats actually OPPOSE them! SO FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, COUTNRY AND PROGRESS, PLEASE: START PULLING!

Before there’s nothing Left!

Worst Democrat since Andrew Johnson.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

I work for a Japanese company.  In America (Detroit area) but it's a Japanese firm.  And one of the things I've learned about the Japanese from working there is that is you ask them ANYTHING or ask them FOR ANYTHING, the will ALWAYS ask you, "Why?"

Now, in the West, "Why?" is a very confrontational question.  Every time I hear "Why?" my minds follows it up with "...the hell do need [or need to know] that?!" I don't know if everyone feels that strongly about it, but I think you'll agree that if you ask me a simple, strait forward question and I answer why "Why?" it kind of puts you on the defensive, no? (Truth be told, in my experience, it really pisses most people off!)

Well... Anyway, they don't do it to be difficult pricks. (Although there's no shortage of people that seem to think that they do! LOL)  They do it because they genuinely want to give you the best possible, most complete answer / information the first time so you will not be misled, and they will not waste your time. (And possibly so you won't come back and bother them again! LOL) And really, although it takes some getting used to when you hear it every. fucking. time, it's really not a bad philosophy. Really? When you think about it, it's almost always the PERFECT question to ask!

Now I mention that, because as part of my work (as an engineer) we often have to solve problems.  And one of the Japanese methods (which I'm sure has been adopted  in the west in some places or companies as well) of problem solving is called the FIVE WHY'S.  It is believed that to get to the real root cause of any problem, you have to ask "Why?" at least FIVE TIMES.

Now... Take, for example: The Mortgage Meltdown of 2008.  (Although extremely racist, this exercise is a lot more fun if you read the following questions with a Japanese accent.) (And, yes, I know that I'm going to hell for that.)

WHY did the economy tank?

   (1) A lot of people were losing money on mortgage backed securities and the real estate bubble.

WHY were so many affected? (Or Why a was there bubble?)

   (2) A lot of bad and risky loans were being written by the banks.

WHY were the banks writing these loans?

   (3) They were making money from them. They were a huge source of revenue.

WHY were they making money off of them? (That's more of a HOW question, but it still works.)

   (4) The were combining them with other loans into securities and were able to break up and sell the resulting product at a higher rate than it was truly worth.

WHY were they able to sell them as more than they were worth?

   (5) Because the Bond Ratings Agencies were giving them AAA / Investment grade ratings even though they were hard too value, and no one knew what was really IN them.


Did you notice how I was able to go five layers deep without any real politics or opinion or partisan judgement coming into play? Of course, I can't go any farther without interjecting my own political "bias" (notice the "quotes" - I know that's just the bias of reality!) interfering with the analysis.  But there you go: Five "why's" got us down to a pretty good route cause, with statements that (1) Even the most blatant partisan could not really argue the veracity of (though some of the dumber ones will try) and (2) has no judgement, no liberal-this or progressive-that necessary to reach this route cause.  The mortgage meltdown happened because the ratings agencies inflated the grades of and overvalued these inherently risky assets. (If you're buying something and you don't know what it's worth or even what it really is? THAT'S RISKY. PERIOD!)

So I found it interesting, and I had to kick myself for not thinking of this myself the other day in my downgrade post, to read MMFA's take on the U.S. downgrade:

Attention Media: S&P Lacks Credibility

And it hit me like a thunderbolt!  Of course! These are the same clowns who basically, single handedly tanked the U.S. economy, into a deep recession that, while it ended, at leats officially, we are still reeling from the effects of, and are now heading into another one... THANKS TO THE VERY SAME PEOPLE!  They ruined Bush (not that he needed much help) and now they're ruining Obama (again, not that he needs much help!)

And yet the reaction by the Conservative media is all over the map!

CNN's Erickson Giddy About Downgrade Of U.S. Credit Rating

(what a rooting for failure scumbag!)

After Cheering Default, Bolling Laments Potential Effects Of Downgrade

Make up your fucking mind, you "Party of Personal Responsibility" HYPOCRITE!

Limbaugh Accuses Obama Of Orchestrating Decline Of America

Ok... I have to stop here, because this is just bat-shit fucking psychotic on multiple levels.  First of all... "Yeah... because nothing gets a President re-elected like a really shitty economy, huh Rush?" And second of all, in the plane of prime material reality, on the planet EARTH, there is not one scrap of evidence to suggest that this was orchestrated by ANYONE other than CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS simply because they knew their Corporate Media would the the "right" story / Right's story and people would blame Obama. Not that they'd really needed the propaganda machine here anyway: Blaming the President for a shitty economy is practically the American Past time!

Nostradumbass Uses Downgrade To Claim Vindication Of His Conspiracy Theories

Well, whoopdie-do for your crystal ball, Glenn!  The Republicans have been trying to prevent recovery and orchestrate a full blown collapse since Obama took office!  The only risk you were taking in that bet was whether or not they would succeed!  (And we've know they would for some time, because Obama has all the spine of an invertebrate!)  Of course... given you infinite wisdom into these matters... why are you consistently wrong on who RESPONSIBLE for it? Who's REALLY destroying this country, Glenn?!  And what REALLY caused it Glenn?  What POLICIES? (I'll give you a hint: The start with "Aw" and rhyme with "Posterity.")


Yeah, it was a good "Media Matters Day" for me.  On my lunch break, of course. ;)

I also finished Chapter 11 (ironically, LOL) of Utopia today over lunch as well.  That puts me two Chapters ahead of what's posted so far, I just need to figure out how far to space out posting them. In any case, it's days like today that are my inspiration for writing it. Listening to these liars is one thing - makes me throw up in my mouth a little - but knowing how many glassy-eyed, brain-dead zombies there out there LISTENING to these frauds, and BELIEVING them...  It just drives me fucking crazy.  And Edward serves as an indulgence of those feeligns.  Days like today make writing that - especially knowing what's to come - really, really fun.

Evil, yes. (And if you don't see it yet, you will.)

But F-U-N!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


I finally fixed the Alex Ross picture at the top of the page. That's been dead for like... forever!

I also finally managed to post Chapter 9.  That's a load off.  Now I can really get started with the story!

I feel a little better now. LOL

Friday, August 5, 2011

...And we get downgraded anyway.

America gets downgraded anyway.

Debt Ceiling deal?

It was truly meaningless. And austerity did less than tax cuts to accomplish ANYTHING.

Well done, Republicans.

Well done, Barry.

And now our entitlement programs and scoail safety nets are in jeopardy for absolutely nothing at all.

Nice. Well done. Way to listen to the will of the people.

Did I mention I was furious?

I'm goign to to say one thing (again): A country's credit rating has nothign to do with it's economy, it's debt, or it's defict.  The Government ability to repay it's debt is a function of one thing and one thign alone: TAXES.

So why are we suddenly a credit risk? 

Simple: Becuase we've shown that will NEVER raise taxes, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Well done, "fiscal conservatives"

How do we get our AAA rating back?

Simple: Show that, when push comes to shove, we will raise taxes rather than default.

Well done, Barry, Democrats.

How might well show that?

I don't know, but one fairly simple idea that leaps to mind is to... oh... I don't know...


Of course, that's basically completely inpossible now. (Hence the downgrade.) Why?

Simple: Bad economy and looming Austerty (spending cuts.) Raise taxes on top of that? And you REALLY ARE Herbert Hoover.

You see what they did there Barry? You like that? Yeah, I bet you do.

We will now ALL have to suffer for two more years, all thanks to the TEA PARTY and CONGRESSIONAL REPUBLICANS.

Oh, yeah: And OBAMA, for pandering to them.

He'll get punnished. And he should. (But WTF did the rest of us do to deserve this?! I didn't vote for Bush, I didn't even vote for Clinton. And I certainly didn't vote for the Barack Obama we've had for the past two years.)  But yet somehow the Republicans will get rewarded for screwing us. FUCKING AGAIN!

Just as I said the other day, I can only hope that Predident Bachman will over-reach early enough in her administration that the Congress and the Country turn on her, and she spends four years being stymied by a Congress lead by the NEXT Democratic President, who might FINALLY get the Democrats' heads out of their asses, put their boot on the neck of our Riech-Wing "corporate overlords" and remind the Corporations that THEY work for US. We're the damned CUSTOMER here. Theyr'e no different from Congress.  They work for us. There is simply no reason that it should be otherwise.

It's the U.S. of A., not the U.S.Inc. - No matter what the Tea Party and the Republicans and Fox might tell you.

But? They won. It's over Barry. So save us all some trouble and pull an LBJ'68, would you?

(no title)

(NOTE: I broke up my roiginal post into two posts so, if you didn’t read my earlier post or you’re more interested in politics than baseball, you should go back one and read "Furious" first. Or just read that one!)


Shifting gears but keeping with today’s apparent theme of drawing historic parallels, the last line of my previous post was a reference that may have been lost on some of you. It was what Yankee owner George Steinbrenner called Japanese import Pitcher, Hideki Irabu during a dispute over his performance and attitude.

Irabu was a Pitcher in Japan with a ton of promise and potential. Bobby Valentine, who managed him in Japan, said that when he was “on” he was every bit as good as Nolan Ryan (a Hall of Famer who Valentine managed in Texas.) And when Irabu wanted to come to the States – before the current posting system came into existence – his team at first negotiated a trade with the San Diego Padres. But Irabu would have none of that. No, he would only go to one team: The Yankees. He likened the current Japanese system as a slave market, and managed to force a second trade, to new York, so that he could play where he wanted. It was largely as a result of Irabu’s coming over, and the circumstances around it that the current posting system came into being.

So the start of his career, IMHO, he could very fairly be called “the Japanese CURT FLOOD.”

In his first two years, and especially in 1998, he showed flashes of absolute brilliance, bracketed by meltdowns of epic proportions. As "King Tom" recently put it: "For two months in 1998, Irabu was the best starting pitcher on what would become the greatest team in baseball." And as hard as it is for a BoSox fan to admit – there’s certainly a lot of merit in that statement. But he was also a head case. When he was “off” he was as utterly awful as anyone could be. And his streaky performance came with an unstable, enigmatic and at time batshit-crazy mentality. He once hit a photographer with an errant warmup pitch –only to smile at him afterwards. (The camera maintained that it was intentianl.) He spit at fans. He feuded with Steinbrenner and Yankee ownership. And he fought openly with the press, refusing to deal with much of the Japanese press, who he felt slighted him, and going to far as to assault members of the American press. (And to do absurd things like swipe the pencil of an interviewer and break it in half because he asked him a question he didn’t like.)

So, given the tumultuous, roller-coaster that was his first couple of years in the major leagues, and the injuries that eventually shortened his career, I bestow on him a second epithet for him: The Japanese OIL CAN BOYD.

After his retirement, the personal demons that haunted him most of his life finally stated to get the better of him. He started drinking again, hard. His marriage collapsed. He had legal troubles. And last week, he was found in his apartment, hanging from the end of a rope. Dead, at age 42.

And it with no satisfaction, or mirth that I give him a third epithet: The Japanese DONNIE MOORE.

And just as with Moore’s tragic suicide in 1989, Irabu’s serves once again as a reminder of what is really important in life and what we forget sometimes is just a game.

Now, Irabu didn’t kill himself over his career troubles, any more than Donnie Moore did over that one pitch to Dave Henderson. All the same, every [Yankee] fan that ever booed him and every Japanese fan that ever mocked him for his partial-western ancestry all played some small part in what happened. It’s one thing to call someone a “nut-job” or a “head-case” but it stings a little when, years later, you find out that they were dealing with real demons. Issues that went beyond baseball, and beyond what most of us jeering fans and “knights of the keyboard” (as Ted Williams called them/us) will ever deal with.

I wasn’t a fan: He was a Yankee, after all. And I didn’t necessarily like him, or even know much about him: He didn’t make it easy. Still, I was disturbed to hear of his suicide: 42 years old and having pitched in the Post-Season for the New York Yankees. As lives go, his saw great heights that most people only dream about. There was no shame here.

There should not have been any regret.

What an unbelievable waste.

I’m furious!

Seriously: I’m furious!

As we’ve learned with the all of the hope that accompanied the election of Barack Obama and the massive betrayal and letdown that followed, nothing is worse that the disappointment ones feel immediately after allowing oneself a moment of misguided optimism. Here’s how my [political] week went…

On Monday, I hear an NPR story about the Debt Ceiling “Deal.” Craig Fahle had a pretty interesting take on the new debt commission. With the huge budget triggers looming over both Defense and Medicare if something else isn’t done, neither party is going to want THOSE negotiations to deadlock. And since (1) It’s a 6-Democrat, 6-Republican Committee and (2) Congress will not be able to amend, or filibuster, their proposal – merely give it and up or down vote – you have taken away two of the key advantages the Republicans have had lately: Their ability to organize a filibuster in the Senate and their Majority in the House. And while I’m still furious that the Republicans pulled this shit (and Obama and the Democrats LET THEM, and LET THEM GET AWAY WITH IT) I had to admit: It’s was an interesting point. Of course, it would depend greatly on who was APPOINTED to the panel, but still: If there was one way to get the Right to budge on taxes? This seemed to be it.

It wasn’t much, but given what unmitigated failure as a Progressive Obama has proven to be so far, I’ll take what I can get.

Then on Wednesday, I hear NPR talking about the 2012 election and I hear something that, by itself, could have ruined my whole week/month/administration term:

“In doing what he has, President Obama has positioned himself in the CENTER of American Politics.”

OK first of all…


Second of all…

As Harry Truman said: Given a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who acts like a Republican, they’ll pick the Republican every time. And we now live in a world where Barry Fucking Goldwater would be called a RINO! (That’s how you say “centrist” in conserva-speak.) There is no virtue in being a “centrist” when the “right” is represented by the Sociopathic, Religious Funny-Mentalist, Absolute Money-Grubbing Corporate WHORES that the Modern American Right is. When the National Discourse is between Paul Krugman and Rush Limbaugh, between Robert Reich and Glenn Beck, between Robert Kuttner and Sean Hannity, between John Stewart and Bill O’Reilly, between Eric Boehlert and Ann Coulter, no remotely sane, minimally educated person can conclude that there is merely a difference of opinion going on here! Or that both sides represent position of remotely equal merit, validity and dignity! Watching the political discourse for the last 20 years in this country is like watching physicists debate quantum string theory with rodeo clowns!

Being a Centrist? Being able to broker a compromise? Is only a valid, admirable position when BOTH SIDES' positions has some merit! ANY merit! When the other side represents something reprehensible that, on a purely objective level, devoid of any emotion or hyperbole, can be described as evil? Then it is not to your credit to do anything but put a boot to their necks and choke the last bit of life out of them!

In the previous comments section, JLarue referred to Obama as an American Neville Chamberlain. I like that. I think it’s very apt. BUt their IS a problem with it... Chamberlain catches a lot of shit that he doesn’t really deserve. Seriously. You have to remember: Adolph Hilter wasn’t really “Hilter” until after the war started. And he wasn’t really “HITLER” until after the War was over and the mass graves of 6 Million Jews started turning up. Hindsight is always 20/20 and Chamberlain can hardly be blamed for his failure to realize that the man he was talking to was a Psycopthatic Villain of previously unimaginable, historic, demonic and near-comic book proportions. I mean… Who really could have reasonably imagined that, before it actualy happened?

Obama does not have the luxury of that defesne. In the 1930’s, Hitler made a great effort to try and sell his position, and to NOT look like a madman. The Republicans (who, of course, are not Hitler!) have made no effort to hide their profoundly un-American agenda; Their agenda of Bigorty, of Religious Fundamentalism, of Xenophobia, and of orchestrated Economic Collapse so that they can take power and set about systematically dismantling the Government’s ability to protect any of our rights against the Corporations who would usurp them. And if you don’t believe me, if you think I’m just blowing smoke, Mitch McConnell himself said that his party’s TOP PRIORITY was making Barack Obama a one-term president! With all the problems we faced, DEFEATING OBAMA –not jobs, not the deficit, not the economy, not the environment, not health care, not terrorism, not immigration, not national security, not anything else - was his STATED “top priority.”


Now, I’m not saying that Republicans are Nazi’s. That’s just moronic. And only an idiot would conclude that this is the point I'm trying to make. My point is just that if Adolph Hilter had looked Neville Chamberlain in the eye and said “My top priority is the domination of the whole of Europe and eventually the World,” there’s no way Chamberlain would have compromised or negotiated with him. If Hitler had been as transparent about his intentions with Chamblerain as the Republicans have been with Obama, there’s simply no way that Chamberlain would have given him the time of day.

So Obama is worse than Chamberlain.


History is pretty kind to Clay, actually. But Henry Clay is my [Glenn Beck’s Woodrow Wilson.] Because Clay was known as the great compromiser. That's his legacy: His great, historically important skill was his ability to broker a compromise. And his compromises are credited with avoiding Civil War for decades. And seeing as how the Civil War was the bloodiest in our history, any efforts to avoid it should seem worthwhile, no? Well, back in high school, I certainly thought so. I actually ADMIRED Clay for this skill! But, just as Neville Chamberlain’s detractors will tell you, NO, his ability to broker a compromise in this case were NOT to his great credit. Because who was Clay compromising with? What great cause was being maintained while he helped us avoid what was basically an inevitable conflict?


Slavery! I don’t know whether Clay was more pro-Slavery or Anti-War, but he was compromising with the Slave-States of the South! The very States that would eventually secede and start the Civil Way ANYWAY! And it’s not like MAINTING THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY was some kind of secret agenda for Southern States! It was their ENTIRE AGENDA! Very little else separated North from South (or Republican from Democrat) in those days! Neither really opposed to genocide of the Native Americas. Neither really differed in any great way on foreign policy. Neither the Progressive Republicans, nor the Conservative Democrats (what a world, huh?) had enough party unity on tariffs or national banking or civil service to draw any other great distinctions. I’m not saying they didn’t differ, only that any differences on any other issues were orders of magnitude less in importance, and priority than SLAVERY.

The Conservative (and Democratic) South saw Slavery as a necessity to their economic and social survival.

The Progressive (and Republican) North saw slavery as EVIL. (And fine, yes, I realize that it was far from ALL of the North, but work with me here!)

And, as usual, The Conservatives were wrong in their judgment and the Progressives were right. (You can look at any chapter in History and see this BTW. After all – Chamberlain himself was a Conservative! They Right always seems to forget that fact!) And thus of Henry Clay’s great powers of compromise were put to work to MAINTAINING an EVIL INSTITUTION just to avoid an INEVITABLE UNPLEASANTRY.

Sound familiar?

So, IMHO, Obama is HENRY CLAY.

Finally, back to the original point of there being no merit, no credit to Obama for “positioning himself in the center,” does ANYONE (other than Obama) really think that story will be told? Does anyone (other than Obama) think that any part of the Conservative Electorate (let alone the Conservative media) is going to stop thinking about him as anything but a Marxist, Socialist, Communist, Fascist (WTF?!), Secret Islamist, Outsider who’s here to destroy everything that makes their country great? (And I say “their country” because they one they perceive in there puny little minds and “our country” – the one we all share, in this place called REALITY – are two different things.) Puh-lease. Nothing he’s done has forced any part of Fox or Talk Radio or the Right Wing Fringe or Conservative Blogs to even change their LIES! They’re STILL harping about “Government takeovers of health care,” (never happened, never even on the table,) “taxes going up,” (never happened, never even on the table, the OPPOSITE in fact) “Socialist-this” and “Communist-that” and “birth certificates” and “secret Muslim,” etc… It seems completely lost on Obama, and yes, I guess on some of the staff at NPR as well, that what Obama has done IN REALITY isn’t important because his relentless opposition DOESN’T LIVE THERE! He has stabbed PROGRESSIVES in the back in an effort to court people who will only, ever, STAB HIM IN THE BACK!!!

Which brings me to Thursday and Friday:

And NPR’s and the Detroit Free Press’s new headlines:




And the story on MSN managed to capture the entire couse of this in one simple line:

“The market rout was prompted in part by concerns that the Federal Reserve won't try to boost the economy again and the prospects of little -- if any -- help on the way from the federal government.”

Well done, Republicans. You finally managed to sink the economy. Again. You finally managed to bring about the orcastrated financial ruin of this country, just to make Barack Obama a one-term president. Because this isn’t about austerity folks, and this isn’t about deficits. I don’t want to sidetrack this post again, but I have written several pieces already showing just how absurd the idea that Republican give a tadpole’s turd about fiscal Responsibility.

No. There’s a reason that they never talk about Austerity when there’s a Republican in the White House. Because Austerity at a Federal level can only, possibly, bring about disaster. They know this. There is no historical precedent that shows otherwise. Nor is there any historical precedent for blaming anyone but the PRESIDENT for a bad economy. Indeed, even as NPR and the Free Press and MSN point out the POLICIES that contributed to this, not one of them points out the it is the REPUBLICANS who are championing these or that they are, in fact, CONSERVATIVE policies by their very nature and philosophy. Those two words are conspicuously absent from there stories! Behold: Your LIBERAL MEDIA!

And when he is inevitably blamed for what now looks like an inevitable recession, does anyone here believe, for even a minute that it will noted that the polices he followed were ones of fiscal austerity? Were, in fact, grounded in CONSERVTIASM?! Yeah, right. No, he’ll be blamed and the story that will be told will be one that blames his failure on all the “liberal policies” that he supposedly championed. Solely by the virtue of his being a Democrat, LIBERALISM will be blamed for the economic failure brought about by REPUBLICAN OBSTRUCTION and CONSERVATIVE FISCAL AUSTERITY.

Well done, Obama. You’ve now fucked over this country for generations to come. It would have been easier to undo the damage done by Republicans if McCain had won. If we’re lucky, President Bachman will over-reach early in her term and spend for years being stymied by a Democratic Congress lead by the NEXT President, who might FINALLY get us back on the path of reason again.

So, for letting them do this – for HELPING them do it – congratulations Barack Obama: In addition to Neville Chamberlain and Henry Clay you now have a third epithet:


I hope you’re happy, you fat, pussy, toad!

(see my next post, for an explanation of that last epithet.)

Monday, August 1, 2011

The New "Deal"

So we’ve got a deal. (I guess. We'll see.)

And that’s good (I guess, we'll see) because I was planning out a “well, it was fun while lasted” -type post, lamenting our fall from our status as a great nation, and our new status as the trailer-park dead-beats of the world; basically the same kind of gun-toting, homophobic white-trash who don’t pay their bills that the Republicans rely on to get elected year in and year out. And I’m forced to wonder what the drama was all about. Apparently taxes aren’t going up – for anyone – and Social Security and Medicare are also safe - for now. A trillion in cuts over ten years is (apparently) planned, but I’ve heard that before. That’s theatre, nothing more. Seeing as how likely it is that some those cuts will have to implemented during a Republican Administration (either 2, 4 or 8 years from now) and given the Republicans propensity to complete forget about their fiscal principles of austerity and small government whenever they win the Presidency, I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m also wondering what this new deficit commission will be able to do that the last 37 have not.


At the end of the day it was much ado about nothing on a tragically Shakespearean level. At the end of the day congress raised the debt ceiling, just like they did 11 times for Reagan, 7 times for Bush, and 74 times (if I'm counting right) since 1962 with nary a whimper. Not that the American public ever heard ANYTHING about ANY of those times – didn’t even know they HAPPENED – because, as Dick Cheney pointed out: Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter! (Yeah: WHEN YOU’RE A REPUBLICAN!)

And to think: Joe Lieberman was concerned that the cuts would affect defense too deeply!


That’s what you get when a Democrat thinks he’s a Republican. (Or is it the other way around?)

A Country facing default, Social Security and Medicare being threatened, deficits that are going out of control…

And he’s worried about defense spending that is currently double that of Russia, China, England and France COMBINED.

We’ll be safe, Joe. You great coward.

And what about the raw, naked, rampant, partisan, ROOTING FOR FAILURE on the part of the right here? I never put any amount of hypocrisy or unprincipled behavior past the right, but I truly never expected it would reach such absurdly transparent levels. And yet somehow? ONLY 60% of America is against the Republicans right now! I mean… THEY WERE LOSING SUPPORT OF BUSINESS LEADERS, FOR CHRIST’S SAKE! If BUSINESS LEADERS aren’t behind them, then WHO THE HELL IS?!

It’s insane.

My favorite – and one of the best examples of just how ignorant the average right-winger IS when it comes to all thins fiscal, monetary and economic – was probably Fox's Stuart Varney "Absolutely" agreeing with Andrew Napolitano that we don't deserve AAA Credit Rating as a nation.


Way to hate your country there, Start! Can you IMAGINE what they’d be saying if a progressive had said ANYTHING even remotely like that?!

But here’s the thing…

A country’s credit rating is not based on its debt levels. Nor is it based on its economy. Nor is it based on their ability to balance a budget. All of those things (debt level, income, spending decisions) are what an INDIVIDUAL’s or a COMPANY’s credit rating is based on. But in a GOVERNEMENT’s credit rating, except in circumstances far more extreme than we’re facing now and likely will ever face, almost none of those things matter in the least. Why? Because Governments can do something that individuals and even companies CAN’T do when the cost of their debt gets too high.


Governments can RAISE TAXES! Individuals can’t do that! Companies can’t do that! And that’s why individuals and companies have to act very cautiously and very deliberately to maintain their good ratings. But governments? Can run deficits year an and year out, and have multi-years recessions and still have a AAA rating. And the reason is that, if they need to, they can RAISE TAXES to pay back their debts!

Now, in the mind of someone for whom that is simply unthinkable, I suppose I can see why they be panicking about our fiscal condition. But the only Government who DOESN’T deserve a AAA rating? Is one that is either unable or unwilling to raise taxes. If your population already pays an average 90% tax rate, and you’re still running up insane debts? FINE. YOU aren’t a AAA credit risk. If you raise taxes but (like Greece) have a national culture that simply doesn’t pay them anyway, as a point of pride, and in addition have lax enforcement existing of Tax laws? Then, yeah, you DEFINITELY don’t deserve a AAA rating. And, I guess, if you’re the kind of government that the average Fox viewer would be happy with – one that would never, under any circumstances, raising taxes including when their facing DEFAULT?

There’s no fucking way I’m buying your bonds!

Why would I?

You’d rather default than pay your bills? That’s not AAA! That’s TRAILER-PARK, DEAD-BEAT status!

But, maybe, just maybe, America will wise up to these hypocritical, self-righteous, uneducated, treasonous, traitorous, un-American SCUMBAGS on the Right is they keep routing for failure. It’s not likely, but I can dream, can’t I?


(BTW… If I was more of conspiracy-minded person, I’d swear that this debt-ceiling “crisis” was cooked up just to bump the story Ruppert Murdoch’s criminal phone-hacking scandal off of the front page. Get us to forget about that. I don’t REALLY believe that, but it’s been a week or two since I’ve heard dick about it. Just sayin’.)